[han-suh m]


a low-hung, two-wheeled, covered vehicle drawn by one horse, for two passengers, with the driver being mounted on an elevated seat behind and the reins running over the roof.
any similar horse-drawn vehicle.

Origin of hansom

1850–55; named after J. A. Hansom (1803–82), English architect who designed it
Also called hansom cab.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hansom

Historical Examples of hansom

  • Get this gentleman's luggage, and bring it to that hansom there.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • “Be exact in what you say,” Ossipon lectured in the swift motion of the hansom.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • There are four-wheeled cabs, and there is even a hansom to be had.

  • We won't say a word about terms; I'll pay you all that's left over from my hansom fares.'

  • He told me that the Marquis owned the hansom; for I asked him whose it was.

British Dictionary definitions for hansom



(sometimes capital) a two-wheeled one-horse carriage with a fixed hood. The driver sits on a high outside seat at the rearAlso called: hansom cab

Word Origin for hansom

C19: short for hansom cab, named after its designer J. A. Hansom (1803–82)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hansom

"two-wheeled, two-person cab," 1847, from James A. Hansom (1803-1882), English architect who designed such a vehicle c.1834.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper